Leisure, lifestyle and entertainment investor supports sector with £90m fund

Imbiba, a London based leisure, lifestyle and entertainment investor in growth brands has announced the first close at £70m of its new £90m fund, and completed its first investment into Little Houses Group.

Led by significant investment from the British Business Bank through its Enterprise Capital Funds (ECF) programme, alongside other investors including Asahi UK, the new fund will provide growth capital to support the expansion of leading businesses from across the leisure, lifestyle and entertainment sector.

Darrel Connell, managing partner, Imbiba, commented: “The significant investment we have secured for our new fund is a huge vote of confidence for Imbiba and the wider leisure, lifestyle and entertainment sector in the UK.

“With our experience and track record, this new fund puts us in a unique position to support more leading entrepreneurs and high growth businesses than ever before, during a period of significant market uncertainty and volatility.

“At a time when others are retreating from the sector we see this as the opportune time to support the brand heroes of tomorrow. We are incredibly grateful for the support of our investors who share our belief and passion for this great sector and recognise that times of turbulence bring exciting opportunities.”

Little Houses Group’s first venue, Kensal House Nursery and Jaego’s House, which launched in Kensal Rise earlier this year, features a nursery, creche, kids’ club, jungle gym and soft play, kids’ cinema and snug, as well as a waterside cafe & restaurant, gym and fitness classes, treatment rooms and co-workspace.

With “ambitious” plans to scale the business and multiple new venues planned in the coming years, Imbiba will provide capital and support for the management team to expand the business.

Darrel continued: “Little Houses Group is the perfect example of the kind of business we’re looking to invest in; highly differentiated, best-in-class and scalable with a highly credible management team. We’re excited to work with Charlie and his team as the business expands in the years ahead.”

Charlie Gardiner, founder of Little Houses Group, added: “The dream for most parents is to find somewhere that they love visiting just as much as their children do, and Imbiba’s support will help us scale the business and make that dream a reality for more parents.

“We couldn’t be happier to have the opportunity to create a long-term, sustainable partnership with such proven entrepreneurs and investors in the sector.”

By Matthew Neville – Senior Correspondent, Bdaily

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